Sunday, 6 May 2007

What's missing?

As promised, here are the Blue Moon April socks in progress.

The yarn is Socks That Rock of course - Silkie, which is new, and as the name implies, has silk content - 19%. The colour is called Walking on the Wild Tide, and the pattern is called Grasshopper.

Lovely, lovely yarn to work with, and a beautiful knitted fabric too. Soft to the hands, with that sheen that you only have from silk, and the colours are positively jewel-like.

The tension for this yarn is a little unexpected. The pattern says 8 stitches to the inch on US #2, 2.75mm. But the yarn seems quite thick when you look at it, more like sportweight than sockweight, and I was sure that I was going to have to go down at least one needle size, and very possibly two sizes. So, I worked a little tension square (just like I never bother to do usually) and was very surprised to find that I was working exactly to gauge. 8 stitches to the inch on 2.75mm. I could hardly believe it, and I still keep checking it - spot on every time. It just goes to show - the Blue Moon people know what they are doing.

The pattern is toe up again as you can see, with a simple mesh lace pattern across the top of the foot, and up the leg. The sole is in stocking stitch, of course. There is an option to work this pattern as a knee sock ( you need extra yarn) but I don't think that's for me, although they are extremely pretty.

The cast on for this sock was one that I haven't tried before. You do a backwards loop cast on and knit one row, then pick up in the cast on bumps for the other side. It works very well actually. I am not a particular fan of toe up socks that actually start at the point of the toe, like this one - I usually prefer to work a provisional cast on and a short row toe. But this method does work rather neatly, I must admit.

The heel is going to be interesting. It is worked with a heel flap. I have seen a fair number of patterns like this, but this will be the first time I've actually made one up.

What's missing? - well, that would be two circular needles.

I did try, honestly. I really did. I am supposed to be stepping outside my comfort zone with this Sock Club - trying new things, whether I think they will be to my taste or not. I have worked socks with two circs before, so it's not as if this was a new technique for me. Not my method of choice, I prefer dpns. But the pattern said two circs, so off I went.

And I really did try. I worked the whole of the toe and about an inch of the lace pattern on two circs, according to the pattern. But it was driving me completely bonkers - pulling the cable across to put the stitches back on the needle was not going smoothly at all with the lace pattern section. Inox greys, before you ask. I normally find these absolutely fine - but not for this pattern.

So, back to my trusty dpns. These are gunmetal coloured Boye's, by the way. Pretty colours, nice pointy points, and an excellent finish - what more could I want?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have just noticed some new sock patterns over at Blue Moon. And I absolutely have to go and have a proper look....

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